SoapLand - The Battle Of The Eccentric Characters - The Result

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
Messages
13,547
Reaction score
15,030
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
upload_2020-4-23_22-18-40.png


This is the battle of the favourite oddballs and the characters with an offbeat vibe. That doesn't have to be an out-and-out clownesque character, but if there was a Pipo Clownington then feel free to add it to your list.
Things to consider, how does the character fit in with the rest, or even the soap genre itself. But that's just a suggestion, of course. You decide what's so eccentric about this or that character - and again, it's about the ones you like, not dislike.
 

Toni

Telly Talk Winner
Messages
3,562
Reaction score
3,859
Location
Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
Medals
5
Member Since
September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
I think there´s gonna be quite a debate here on what "eccentric" exactly means...

1- Lilimae Clements (Julie Harris) Knots Landing

upload_2020-4-24_0-59-20.jpeg


2- Emma Channing (Margaret Ladd) Falcon Crest)

3- Francesca Gioberti (Gina Lollobrigida) FC Season 4



4- Rita Lesley (Linda Evans) Dynasty Season 6 (Not kidding!)

upload_2020-4-24_0-50-4.jpeg


5- Angelica Nero (Barbara Carrera) Dallas Dream Season



There are many others, but I can´t stand them so...

(Dis)Honorable mentions:
- Lute Mae (Flamingo Road)
- Muriel Gillis (Dallas)
- Joseph Anders (Dynasty)
 

Jimmy Todd

Telly Talk Addict
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
900
Location
United States
Member Since
2019
This is a good idea, @Willie Oleson! I already have two in mind, but it's going to take sone more thought because in a world of characters who marry abd divorce the same person multiple times, earn money through convoluted schemes, make dramatic returns after long
absences or being "dead," and often wesr hats with brims on which you could carry a dinette set, "eccentric" is going to take on an interesting meaning:)
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
Messages
13,547
Reaction score
15,030
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
"eccentric" is going to take on an interesting meaning
Good point Jimmy, with so many colourful characters it's almost impossible to narrow it down to a top 5.
That's why I've used a few more criteria for my list with the "against the odds" idea being the most predominant one.

1. Gary Ewing - DALLAS
Even the mere mention of the absent Ewing brother would be frowned upon or at least cause an awkward silence.
He was the oddball in the literary sense of the word, the Dallas equivalent of the "crazy sister in the attic", his position of the black sheep caused by Jock Ewing's standard of "what makes a man a man".
Not only could he not live on Southfork, he couldn't be in DALLAS at all.
He continued to be a "failure" in his own soap, but since KNOTS was an upside down soap with a less straightforward approach (which was also the case in the DYNASTY spin-off) he appeared to be a little more suitable in that part of the Ewingverse.

2. Diana Fairgate - KNOTS LANDING
The writer's reluctance to make this character more relatable and easy on the eyes (and ears!) - by soap standards anyway - turned out to be a great blessing in disguise.
Instead of the pretty soap daughter we got a fascinating character who marched to the beat of her own drum - and to hell with the consequences!

3. Judith Ryland - DALLAS
While Harris Ryland was a more traditional soap bastard, Mother Dearest was an unapologetic, no-holds-barred monster with a peculiar/eccentric view on things, to say the least.
I had no idea what to expect from NuDallas, but certainly not this.
She gave a scene-stealing powerhouse performance that never failed to entertain me.

4. Charley St. James - FALCON CREST
Ooh, I kinda hate him, but I must applaud him for hijacking the dying Tuscany soap in front of our very shocked noses. And to remind the original cast what the show used to represent, albeit in a more exaggerated fashion.
He was the sum of all those previous villains who, for whatever reason, wanted a piece of the grape pie.
Even my vote for him feels offbeat and controversial.

5. Paula Vertosick - KNOTS LANDING
The unvixen with absolutely zero soap-y traits. It's as if she literally hiked into an alternative soap universe. This shouldn't have worked at all, and yet I really like this character.
The absence of intrigue, motive and suspense even made me think that I was being deceived, thus creating some kind of excitement anyway.
 

Angela Channing

World Cup of Soaps Moderator
Messages
8,102
Reaction score
8,694
Medals
13
Member Since
1999
1. Francesca Gioberti - mainly for that amazing tarantella dance but also for her over the top exuberance that was the total opposite to Angela's formality. FALCON CREST



2. Emma Channing - We never found out whether she was just eccentric of whether she had a mental health issue but either way she was a fascinating and lovable character. FALCON CREST



3. Julia, the voodoo priestess that Michael Tyrone turned to for help to get revenge over the people of Truro. FLAMINGO ROAD



4. Oswald Valentine - the quirky owner of Valentine's Lingerie that went into partnership with Sue Ellen. DALLAS



5. Linda Fairgate - before she went full blown bitch, she was a wonderful eccentric bitch who tried to control everything Eric ate. KNOTS LANDING

 
Last edited:

Jock Og

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Messages
566
Reaction score
2,003
Location
Ireland
Medals
3
Member Since
18th November 2000
1) Emma Channing: Quirky and fun. Emma liked nothing better than talking back to Angela. She wasn't really cheeky she was just being Emma - FALCON CREST.

2) Cora Van Heusen: An aging Madame who rolled back the years on Ben Carrington - DYNASTY.

3) Diana Fairgate: Claudia Lonow's character was one of a kind and so carved her own niche in the early days of the Sea View Circle saga - KNOTS LANDING.

4) Harrison 'Dandy' Dandrige: An old wildcatter befriended by Cliff. He reminded the Barnes man of Digger and the pair would go onto discover a rich natural gas field - DALLAS.

5) Henry Corrigan: A cowboy in Los Angeles who was Connie's love interest - THE COLBYS.
 
Last edited:

Daniel Avery

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
3,862
Reaction score
3,531
Location
Sunny South Florida
Medals
4
Member Since
June 10, 2000
In the South, the difference between 'eccentric' and 'plum crazy' is usually economical: your unique approach to life is called 'eccentric' if you're rich, but if you're poor, you're just 'plum crazy'.

1. Lilimae Clements, KL--narrowly edging out my #2, she took the top spot mainly because of sheer longevity. Even in her older years she still managed to do nutty things and charm the socks off us all when she did it.

2. Emma Channing, FC--loved her dearly, always imagined she was crazy like a fox. How better to keep her mother from doing to her what she did to Julia?

3. Anne Matheson, KL--so coddled and spoiled that no one seemed able to really understand her--or take her seriously.

4. Virginia Bullock, KL--yes, the Lilimae knock-off had her own set of issues, and it was the blind (Aunt Ginny) leading the visually-impaired (Val).

5. Paul Galveston, KL--yes, he was a b*stard to everyone, but certainly had a different outlook on his world.
 

Toni

Telly Talk Winner
Messages
3,562
Reaction score
3,859
Location
Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
Medals
5
Member Since
September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
I can see in the horizon a certain Knots winning...
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
Messages
13,547
Reaction score
15,030
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
Anne Matheson, KL
Virginia Bullock, KL
I had considered Anne too, but it wasn't always the entertaining kind of eccentric.
Aunt Ginny seems to be a better choice (didn't she do something with healing stones?)
I can see in the horizon a certain Knots winning...
I had expected most of the votes going to Knots and Falcon Crest, but then again I don't remember all Dallas characters.
Dynasty's Lady Ashley and Peter De Vilbis could have been Denver's notoriously eccentric characters but, alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Perhaps Adriana?
upload_2020-4-25_12-58-14.png

Or was it more like an act?
 

Toni

Telly Talk Winner
Messages
3,562
Reaction score
3,859
Location
Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
Medals
5
Member Since
September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)

Toni

Telly Talk Winner
Messages
3,562
Reaction score
3,859
Location
Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
Medals
5
Member Since
September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)

Jimmy Todd

Telly Talk Addict
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
900
Location
United States
Member Since
2019
The definition of eccentric I used when choosing my characters was a person whose actions came naturally from a unique view of life. For example Alexis moving into the art studio on the grounds of her ex- husband's mansion is unusual, but it was more cheek than an unusual perspective. My eccentric ones organically went against the grain, and saw their ways more normal than everyone else's.

1. Gary Ewing. The black sheep of the Ewing family definitely marched to the beat of his own drum. As JR recalled, Gary would rather write poetry than go hunting. He also had his ear pierced,
(no big deal today, but back then and under Jock's roof, I'm sure it was) and had no instinct for the "good 'ol boys" rough and tumble business practices in which his Daddy and brothers thrived. He'd write poetry, but also was determined to ride a motorcycle, and even after an accident took up race driving, albeit temporarily. He'd cry his eyes out over poor Val's cancer scare, but could still get into a good brawl. He saw the land as something to be preserved for what it is, not conquered and exploited. Even in business, when Abby advised him that the smart money was getting out of the music business, he dove into it. He could empathize with Lillimae, convincing Val to forgive her estranged mother, but blow up Empire Valley when he deemed it necessary. Gary saw the world through a "yin and yang" lens of masculine/feminine, aggressive/passive, intellect/emotion, and destroyer/preserver. Jock and JR might not have liked it, but I loved all 14 years of Gary Ewing. Knots Landing.

2. Lillimae Clements. Valene's mom saw the world in an interesting light. She was the oldest character in the cul-de-sac, and while she never tried to act modern and hip in a contrived manner, she still exuded a youthful spirit. She was a homeless woman who could stop a crime using her shopping cart, a nosy suburban matron, who still harbored a crush, and maybe even some romantic hope, for Chip, read her bible and go off to "live in sin" with Al. And, in a world of sexy singers like Ciji, Cathy, and Ginger, she stuck to her autoharp, no apologies and blithely unaware she'd even need any. Greg once quipped that Valene was the "most interesting dame on that block." Too bad he didn't spend any time with the woman from whom Val inherited it all.
Knots Landing

3. Peter Richards. The midriff baring cherub of Dallas wasn't exactly a fan favorite, but thinking about this thread has made me appreciate him even more. He was a 1980s era, heterosexual athlete who saw no reason why he couldn't dress like one of Charlie's Angels. A good looking guy who could have had a lot of women closer to his age, yet it made perfect sense to him to fall for Sue Ellen. Why? He was in love. He was also perfectly comfortable working with and relating to troubled children. In today's world that may seem suspect, but Peter was just an innocent, living his life. Of course, that changed when Peter's unspoiled moon was pulled into the ruthless and dysfunctional orbit of Mr. and Mrs. Ewing. Poor Peter. Dallas

4. Emma Channing. When I first saw the younger daughter of Angela, I thought she was mad as a hatter. As the series, and the character, progressed, I think her psychological issues were just the result of a cheerful eccentric trying to exist on her own terms in the talons of Falcon Crest. Her eccentricity is what saved her from becoming as violently unhinged as Julia. She never hated Angela because she never feared her. In fact, she often seemed to find her highly amusing and enjoyed teasing her. Emma was one of the most unique and endearing characters in soapland. A true eccentric from a show that was itself quite eccentric. Falcon Crest.

5. Anne Matheson. She could have been dismissed as a shallow airhead, but I see her as a genuine eccentric. Even though she referred to herself as shallow, she could have put Paige in boarding schools to make her life easier. Mack, however, pointed out to Paige that Anne did not always choose the easy route as a parent. I never saw Anne as evil, even when she was scheming to get that million dollars meant for her own daughter. It wasn't exactly ethical, but Anne's eccentricity stemmed from the fact that she never took most things that seriously. When Paige found her at Greg's and exclaimed, "Mother!" as was her wont, Anne's response of "Daughter!" comveyed her view of pretense. It was if she was saying, all these nuances of social class have their uses, but there also a little silly.
Then there was the time where she showed up at the Sumner Group purposely wearing the same dress as Paula. Ostensibly, it was to show up Paula in front of Greg, but I always had the impression it was really because Anne herself found it all hilarious. Mack used a similar sartorial tactic on Anne, only instead of a dress he was wearing a "Kiss the Cook" apron. I'm sure deep down Anne understood. Paige's mom was not as pure hearted as Emma Channing, but she was just as unique and endearing. Knots Landing
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
Messages
13,547
Reaction score
15,030
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
He saw the land as something to be preserved for what it is, not conquered and exploited
SoapLand's most famous tree hugger. It gave him a hippie cachet.
Of course, that changed when Peter's unspoiled moon was pulled into the ruthless and dysfunctional orbit of Mr. and Mrs. Ewing
Fabulous!
 
Top